Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

As soon as the calendar turns to September, pumpkin season officially begins. Coffee shops immediately add pumpkin lattes back onto the menu. (I believe there was even a little controversy this year, when a few chain coffee brewers began offering the autumn treat at the end of August!) While most people only ever use pumpkins for decorating, this gourd really is capable of so much more. It can be used for everything from acting as a decorative vase and holding a floral display to filling the role of a serving bowl for dips or even soups. Making a batch of puree is as simple as cutting the gourd in half, roasting it, and then scooping out the flesh and pureeing it. A four pound pumpkin will yield about 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree which can be used in an endless number of delicious recipes.  One such recipe is Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins.  These delicious treats with their streusel topping are sure to impress, whether you serve them up for Brunch or as a dessert or snack for the family.

Ingredients

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour 18 muffin cups, or use paper liners.
  2. To make the filling: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until soft. Add egg, vanilla and brown sugar. Beat until smooth, then set aside.
  3. For the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Add butter and cut it in with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.
  4. For the muffin batter: In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and add eggs, pumpkin, olive oil and vanilla. Beat together until smooth.
  5. Place pumpkin mixture in muffin cups about 1/2 full. Then add one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture right in the middle of the batter. Try to keep cream cheese from touching the paper cup. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F (195 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.
No Bake Peach Pie

No Bake Peach Pie

We are so excited that Colchester Neighborhood Farm is selling freshly harvested peaches from Kimball Farm in Pepperell this week. While the fruit is delicious eaten just as is, it’s also yummy in a pie. But with the hazy, hot, and humid days of August upon us, we like this No Bake Peach Pie from Allrecipes–it’s simple and easy, and doesn’t require using the oven. We suggest serving this with a little whipped cream on top.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1/2 cup water

2/3 cup white sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon butter

6 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced

1 (9 inch) graham cracker pie crust
Instructions
  1. Stir together the water, sugar, cornstarch, and butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When the mixture has come to a boil, add a few slices of the peaches, then lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes until thick and smooth. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool completely.
  2. Place the remaining peach slices into the pie crust, and spread the sauce all over them, covering completely. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until firm before serving.
Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Here is a recipe that is sure to impress at this year’s Fourth of July parties and other summer gatherings. With ingredients such as cream cheese, Nutella, and raspberries, what’s not to love? We found this tasty dessert in tasteofhome.com and it is as easy to make as it is to eat! If you are looking for some wonderful, fresh raspberries, look no further than the farm stand at Colchester Neighborhood Farm in Plympton, which is selling the berries from Keirstead Farm in Plympton.

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

 

  • FILLING:
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup Nutella

Directions

  • Process cream cheese and butter in a food processor until blended. Add flour; process just until a dough forms. Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, toss raspberries, sugar and cornstarch with a fork, mashing some of the berries slightly.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 14×8-in. rectangle. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Spread with Nutella to within 1 in. of edges. Top with raspberry mixture. Fold pastry edge toward center of tart, pleating and pinching as needed.
  • Bake until crust is golden brown, 45-50 minutes. Transfer tart to a wire rack to cool.

 

Kale Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kale Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who knew that kale could be used in desserts? Apparently, Dr. Drew Ramsey and Jennifer Iserloh, authors of the cookbook, 50 Shades of Kale. The book is available for sale on Amazon.com. Here is  this week’s suggested recipe using our featured vegetable of the week: kale.

 

Kale Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields 40 small-ish cookies :

  • 1 firmly packed cup of torn kale leaves
  • 5 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tbs molasses
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, soft
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet ones)
  • 1 cup walnut halves (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. If not using silicon mats for baking, spray baking sheets with a little flavorless olive oil.

In a food processor, pulse kale 10-20 times until finely chopped. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer, on a low speed, until thoroughly combined. Continuing running mixer on low, and add molasses and eggs, one by one, until just incorporated. Add vanilla extract, mix it in.

Combine butter-sugar-eggs mixture with your dry ingredients. Add kale and half of all chocolate chips. Mix all together until just incorporated.

Using cookie dough spoon, drop the dough onto a greased baking sheet  or silicon mat, placing them 2 inches apart. Distribute remaining chocolate chips onto each cookie and, if using walnuts, place walnut half on a top of each cookie.(Note: you can throw all your chocolate chips in the dough if you don’t feel like doing the tedious job of planting half of them on a top of cookies as suggested.)

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are firm around the edges but still slightly soft in a middle.

Cool cookies on a baking rack and enjoy!